The GeForce2 MX400: NVIDIA's Hold On The Mainstream

3DMark 2001

Although I am not a strong supporter of the 3DMark because of its inexpressive results, I decided to use it this time for a number of reasons. The latest 2001 version has some very impressive tests and also supports DirectX 8, making it a good choice technically. Again the MX400 is obviously faster than the MX, but still quite far behind the scores of a GTS.


NVIDIA has proven once again why they are market leader by executing very strongly on these product line additions. This time, it's not a technological revolution, but a clever modification to an existing chip. From a business perspective, NVIDIA now can offer a GeForce2 chip across the broadest spectrum of PC users (including the mobile market with the GeForce2 Go). The GeForce2 MX currently is the undisputed #1 choice if you are looking for a powerful solution which is not too expensive. The MX200 will slowly replace the ageing TNT2 and Vanta chips, GeForce2 MX remains unchanged, and the MX400 is meant to make you feel superior to users with an ordinary MX.

Most of us will only get in contact with the MX200 if you opt for an off-the-shelve system - but we hope you try and keep your hands of that kind of stuff! The 'new' MX400 is likely to be in good supply at computer stores soon; of course at prices above the standard MX. I'm quite sure that the yield is good enough to validate a 200 MHz core clock with every chip produced. So, if you think of the MX200 and 400 as a positioning statement by NVIDIA, and a way for the company to round out its product offerings in light of the possible threat of Kyro II then, you can't go wrong.

Any other company in NVIDIA's position would certainly have gone the same route. As soon as a product is mature, chip vendors start harvesting the design. Intel did this for quite some time until a company called AMD was finally able to gain enough attention to give it some competition.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how the acceptance of the Kyro II goes in the market, as it is a better product than the GeForce2 MX, and at a better price point. NVIDIA needs a little more competition, and a little less domination.